Not too long ago, party games mainly consisted of board games such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Pictionary. Nowadays, with the incredible boom in technology, kids’ party games have evolved predominantly into console-based games, with particular emphasis on the range of party titles published on Nintendo systems. Both the Wii and the Wii U are now home to an array of games, which are perfect for kids’ parties and will keep them entertained for hours on end.
This is not to say that board games and the more traditional line of party games do not have their place at kids’ parties, but as a parent, it is wise to be aware of the changes and trends for party games.
The Mario Kart Series
There is nothing more thrilling than the competitive atmosphere between 4 racers on Mario Kart. The series has always been popular with both kids and their parents, being home to countless hours of light-hearted, yet competitive fun. If you’re unfamiliar with the Mario Kart games, then you are sure for a pleasant surprise and if you’ve put off purchasing Mario Kart thus far, then you should certainly consider it for your child’s party. Regardless of your child’s age, there is always enjoyment to be found in chucking turtle shells at other players, and zooming through elaborate and often chaotic tracks towards the finish line.
As of late, Mario Kart 8 has hit the shelves and comes with never before seen maps, karts and other features that enhance the overall gameplay. The Mario Kart series has been around for a very long time at this point but never fails to be a source of easy entertainment at parties.
Mario Party 9
Another game in the Mario franchise presents players with an incredible 78 mini-games, as well as unlimited hours of fun. Despite some of the criticism that games with the word ‘party’ included within the title receive, Mario Party 9 is the host to a range of different games for players to immerse themselves with, and compete to win. Granted, some of the games on Mario Party 9 are tedious at best, but that’s not to say that others don’t allow for some incredible memorable moments.
The game can be played by 4 people at any one time, which allows for a decent amount of party guests to be playing, without causing issues with the overall gameplay. To add an extra element of challenge and competitiveness to the games, you could arrange for the best player for each game to win a prize, which could consist of anything from a toy to some sweets.
Hit the Piñata
As far as Kids party games go, hit the Piñata is an all-time classic, which is popular amongst kids and adults alike. The objective is simple. Muster all of your strength into hitting the Piñata as hard as you can, with the aim to break and allow its contents to fall out. The contents of a Piñata vary depending on your personal preference, but typically, kids love the concept of hitting a colourful pony and seeing tons of sweets spread across the floor. You could also put small toys in amongst the Piñata’s contents, however, they are likely to break if not well-packaged.
The obvious concern regarding Piñatas is the fact that not only is there a chance of the player hitting another player, but also, the child will be blindfolded whilst playing. This does open the possibility for accidents to happen, but so long as the children are supervised, this should be nothing but harmless fun. If you are concerned about the potential of someone being hurt during the game, you could replace the stick being used to hit the Piñata with something softer, such as a foam bat.
Pass the Parcel
Yes, another classical party game, which has been essentially a tradition for many years. Players sit in a circle around several overly wrapped parcels, each layer of wrapping containing a unique present or surprise. Players will pass the parcels around the circle whilst the music is playing, and once the music stops, the person holding the parcel is allowed to unwrap a single layer to reveal its contents. Kids simply love this game, even the modernised children, who spend their days shooting zombies and running over people in cars, still enjoy the simplicity of pass the parcel.
For this game, it is recommended that you fill each layer with either a small toy of some description or one or two sweets. Larger items would prove problematic due to the nature of the game and may make the parcel too heavy to pass. You should also consider filling the middle of the parcel with a special gift, which outweighs the smaller presents on the outer layers. There’s no need for any extravagant gizmos or gadgets as the main prize, but ensure that it’s something that rewards the winner.
After the huge amounts of sweets, cake and other sugar-filled treats that the kids have consumed during the party, this is a great game to allow them to burn off some of this excess energy. Musical chairs is another simple concept, which involves players walking/dancing around a set of chairs in the middle of the room, whilst the music continues to play. Upon hearing the music stop playing, players must quickly run to the nearest seat and sit-down, before the other players. The last person standing will be eliminated and a chair is removed from play. The game continues in this fashion until there is only two players, the first one to sit down is then the winner of the game.
Simple, fun and yet highly entertaining for children of all ages. The only real requirements of musical chairs are enough chairs to seat all but one of the players, a source of music loud enough to be heard properly and of course players to roam around the seats. If you are playing this game with younger children, it may be an idea to reward each player with a prize, so that they don’t feel too bad for losing. Older players may be mature enough to not get upset upon defeat, however, this is best-left up to your judgement.
Plenty to Choose from
All five of these games are excellent sources of entertainment at parties. For some parents, it can be difficult to access the best kids party games for their child’s party, but for the most part, this list is composed of games which are easy to set up and will entertain most (if not all) kids for hours on end. Some other games that are worth mentioning include, Wii Resort, Nintendo Land, Limbo, Buckaroo and Simon Says. There are a whole range of kids party games for you to choose from, and this list should provide you with ample inspiration to perhaps come up with some of your own!